Entertainment & Arts

Elisabeth Murdoch: No desire to replace Rupert

Elisabeth Murdoch and father Rupert
Image caption Elisabeth Murdoch sold her TV company to father Rupert's News Corp last year

Elisabeth Murdoch has said she has "absolutely no ambition" to succeed her father Rupert at the head of media giant News Corporation.

Speaking after delivering a speech at the Edinburgh TV Festival, she said she had no interest in the "top job".

She also revealed that she advised her brother James and Rebekah Brooks to step down from News International in the wake of the phone hacking scandal.

"It was said within closed walls and Rebekah did resign," she said.

Ms Brooks was News International chief executive, while James left his post as executive chairman.

He remains deputy chief operating officer of News International's parent company News Corp.

Ms Murdoch said it had been "a nightmare year for the family" but was aware it had "not been as difficult for us as for the people who have been victims or Milly Dowler's parents".

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Media captionElisabeth Murdoch: "It's because the fee is universal that the BBC has a unique purpose"

The hacking of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's voicemail sparked widespread outrage and led to the closure of the News of the World, published by News International.

News International also publishes newspapers including The Sun and The Times. News Corp's other operations include the Fox TV network, the 20th Century Fox film studio and Harper Collins books.

Ms Murdoch runs TV production company Shine, which makes shows including Masterchef and Merlin for the BBC and was bought by News Corp last year.

She said she was "pleased" her father had told a parliamentary select committee investigating phone hacking that giving evidence was "the most humble day" of his life.

"I know he absolutely meant it and it was, if I'm honest as a daughter, heart-breaking," she said.

Her comments came a day after she delivered the festival's keynote MacTaggart Lecture.

One reason for agreeing to take part was to make sure "not everybody is tarred or marked with the same brush", she said during a question and answer session on Friday.

"Everyone likes the idea of a soap opera and it's really not that," she added. "The reality is we are a very close family."

She used the lecture to voice her support for the BBC, in contrast to James, who described the corporation's size and ambition as "chilling" when he delivered the lecture in 2009.

'Strategic repositioning'

She also challenged her younger brother's assertion three years ago that "the only reliable guarantee of editorial independence is profit".

He was "clearly being provocative", she told the audience, but insisted that "profit without purpose - or of a moral language - was a recipe for disaster".

Following her lecture, former ITN editor-in-chief Stewart Purvis wrote on Twitter that it should have been titled "Why I am not my father or my brother."

Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff said there was only "one way" to look at her speech.

"This is part of a strategic repositioning of Lis Murdoch within the media world, with the business world and within the family," he told the Reuters news agency.

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